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Film Studies: Effective library research for dissertations: JSTOR

Online support to assist with planning and conducting your library dissertation research


JSTOR is a valuable research resource for secondary resources.  You can use it to search and find the full text of published books and journal articles.

Use the How to Search JSTOR LibGuide for an introduction to the service or take a look at JSTOR's Vimeo channel for educational and instructional videos. 

Enter your search

You can use the Basic search box that appears at login.

Alternatively, select the Advanced Search option for additional options.

The example below shows a basic search for book and article content that includes reference to marlowe and shakespeare and ambiguity

View your search results

You can refine your results if you find too many as a result of your initial search.

You may find it useful to select the Show Snippets option. This will highlight the appearance of your search terms:


Click on the title of the journal article/book/book chapter to view the item. You can also download the item.

You can also see how many times your search terms appear across the article and link through to the pages where the terms appear, via the View Results link.


Understanding Shakespeare is a collaborative project between JSTOR Labs and the Folger Shakespeare Library.

Click next to any line of text in a Shakespeare play, and relevant articles from the JSTOR archive immediately load.

Explore the collection here.


Here is an example from Richard III. There are 17 articles within JSTOR with reference to the first line of the play:


The Text Analyzer is another useful research tool:

  • Upload a file and the tool will analyze the keywords and produce a list of JSTOR items that match those keywords
  • You can even use your phone to photograph some text and upload that for analysis!
  • You need a fairly significant piece of text, but you can use assignments, reports or journal articles
  • You will get mismatches and it will work better with some searches than others
  • If you are struggling to retrieve content from your usual search strategies, why not see if this helps.

Find out more about it here, and this brief introductory video will give you an overview of the tool.


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